Hillary Involvement In Media Matters CREW

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					Sweetness & Light » Hillary Involvement In Media Matters, CREW » Print                                          5/13/09 10:30 AM

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          Hillary Involvement In Media Matters, CREW
          Posted By Steve On October 4, 2007 @ 9:59 am In Uncategorized | 5 Comments

            From “Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” by Jeff Gerth and Don van
            Natta, Jr., pp 265-70, which touches upon Mrs. Bill Clinton’s involvement with the George Soros
            groups CREW and Media Matters:

                     The War Room

                     The first decision Hillary faced as she took over the [Senate Democratic Steering and
                     Outreach Committee] committee in early 2003 was whether to keep the staff director,
                     Jodi Sakol. Sakol, in her early thirties, was already a communications veteran, having
                     worked the beat for Al Gore when he was vice president and during his 2000 presidential

                     Once she became a member of Hillaryland, Sakol was amazed to discover the loyalty
                     and devotion of Hillary’s extended political family…

                     Some of the committee’s best ideas came from Hillary…

                     HILLARY HAD PAID close attention to how the right wing had shaped the public image of
                     Al Gore, and she knew that there was a need to utilize the newly emerging media on the
                     Internet to fight back against her political enemies. Not surprisingly, there was a more
                     receptive climate for these ideas among liberal activists.

                     By 2003, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress was preparing a daily
                     news summary promoting the organization’s left-leaning agenda. Every
                     morning, officials from the center would apprise Sakol of their daily message.
                     With the help of outside advisers and Daschle’s aides, she would then prepare
                     the rapid-response message of the day for Senate Democrats. Sakol found it
                     odd— “almost backwards”—that outsiders, many of whom were loyal
                     Clintonites, were quietly framing the messages on issues for all the Democrats
                     in the Senate. Hillary had no such reservations, for obvious reasons.

                     Concurrently, and on her own time, Sakol was involved in discussions about the
                     formation of another nonprofit, left-leaning group, Citizens for Responsibility
                     and Ethics in Washington, which focused on government corruption. It was
                     Hillary’s “proactive” efforts in this area and her desire to “beat the GOP at their
                     own game” that prompted CREW’s founder, Melanie Sloan, a former prosecutor,
                     to invite Sakol to the initial brainstorming sessions in 2003 where CREW was
                     born. CREW was organized as a tax-exempt nonpartisan group, and on occasion, it has
                     taken on Democratic targets. But since the Congress and the executive branch were in
                     Republican hands at the time of its founding, its investigations were bound to focus on

                     Sakol alerted Hillary and her staff about the newly forming group and its need
                     for “Democratic progressive money.” The hope was that CREW would prove to be a
                     perfect counterbalance to Judicial Watch, the corruption watchdog that had tormented
                     the Clintons with lawsuits and press conferences throughout the 1990s. Hillary’s
                     pollster and strategist Mark Penn became a director and vice president of                                   Page 1 of 4
Sweetness & Light » Hillary Involvement In Media Matters, CREW » Print                                             5/13/09 10:30 AM

                     CREW. “CREW could do things the senators couldn’t do,” Sakol said. And once
                     CREW’s charges “were out in the press,” Sakol noted, other people could cite
                     the findings of the group, which was usually portrayed as nonpartisan in news
                     accounts. CREW played a significant role in unearthing several congressional scandals,
                     including helping a retiring Democratic congressman from Texas to file a complaint
                     against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

                     Hillary’s other priority upon assuming control of the steering committee had been to
                     improve the communication and message capabilities of Senate Democrats…

                     Soon after taking over the committee, she told Sakol, “I want to create a war room
                     in the Senate.” Clinton’s idea was to develop “a one-stop shop for communications for
                     the senators that did not exist before.” …

                     The 2004 elections, in which the Republican message machine demonstrated its
                     communications prowess, finally woke up Senate Democrats. Among those Democrats
                     losing their seats was Daschle, and his successor, Harry Reid, considered Hillary’s
                     idea to be a “nobrainer.” A few weeks after the election, Reid publicly
                     announced the formation of a war room, allocating the staff and resources that
                     Hillary had unsuccessfully sought. Reid would come to frequently rely on Hillary’s
                     advice in figuring out how to respond to urgent issues or craft a daily message.

                     One of the attendees at the meetings that led to CREW’s creation was David Brock, a
                     former enemy turned ally of Hillary’s who was starting his own nonprofit group about the
                     same time. Hillary and Brock had forged a seemingly strange alliance. Brock’s
                     nonprofit, a Washington-based media-monitoring venture called Media Matters
                     for America, found a temporary home in early 2004 at the Center for American
                     Progress. Already providing its daily news summary to Hillary, the center helped
                     Sakol get the daily media analysis prepared by Media Matters in order to help
                     shape the Senate war-room activities.

                     Although it was independent, Media Matters had among its earliest supporters and
                     advisers long-standing allies of Hillary and the Democratic Party. One of them,
                     Kelly Craighead, who planned Hillary’s trips for eight years when she was First
                     Lady, advised Media Matters “on all aspects” of its launch. And the new group
                     wasted no time becoming an aggressive protector of Hillary’s reputation and boasting
                     about its role as truth police, forcefully going after journalists for what the group deems
                     to be leaving out key information or cherry-picking material. In three years, the group
                     has cited more than seven thousand examples of “conservative misinformation,” Brock

                     Hillary, though not a close friend of Brock’s, advised him and “quietly nurtured”
                     his nonprofit empire. The watchdogs at Media Matters often rushed to Hillary’s

                     In mid-2006, Hillary hired Peter Daou, who in 2004 had directed blog outreach
                     and online rapid response for the Kerry presidential campaign and later worked
                     for Media Matters. Daou, who was raised in Lebanon before eventually settling in
                     Manhattan, viewed the mainstream press as “cowardly” and “sycophantic.”

                     Several weeks before he joined Hillary’s campaign, Daou wrote in his blog about the
                     “media establishment bending over backwards to accommodate this White House and to
                     regurgitate pro-GOP and anti-Dem spin.” …

                     Daou agreed to work for Hillary as a blog adviser because he thought it
                     represented a “unique opportunity” to put his words into action to “facilitate
                     and expand her relationship with the netroots,” and to apply what he had
                     learned at Media Matters about the ability of “conservative misinformation” to become
                     part of the mainstream press. (Long before she hired Daou, Hillary had told an aide that
                     blogs were “going to be opinion leaders.”)

                     Daou first became a consultant to her campaign committee and to her political PAC… A                                      Page 2 of 4
Sweetness & Light » Hillary Involvement In Media Matters, CREW » Print                                              5/13/09 10:30 AM

                     few weeks later, Daou became a full-fledged member of Hillaryland, assuming the
                     title of Internet director for Hillary’s newly launched presidential campaign in

                     Daou believed that “the candidate who makes smart use of the Internet in 2008 will have
                     a decided edge.” His boss agreed, but she also made it clear that though she had gone
                     high-tech, she certainly hadn’t gone soft. At Hillary’s first official presidential campaign
                     stop, she told Democratic activists in Iowa, “When you are attacked, you have to
                     deck your opponents.” It wasn’t just a strategy— it turned out to be a prediction too.

            And from a little later in the book, pp 313-14:

                     Just as 1992’s election inspired conservatives like Scaife to get involved, the 2000
                     election was a wake-up call to some wealthy liberals about the reach and influence of
                     the other side’s information infrastructure. One of those who responded was Herb
                     Sandler, who, in concert with his wife, Marion, is an enthusiastic supporter of left-leaning
                     causes. At the time, the Sandlers ran World Savings, one of the nation’s leading savings
                     and loans. Sandler was determined to create an ideological counterweight to
                     conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation. From their base in Oakland,
                     California, the couple tried to apply tough-minded business-management techniques to
                     progressive philanthropy.

                     Meanwhile, John Podesta, the last chief of staff to President Clinton, had
                     coauthored a memo exploring the need for a liberal think tank. The memo found
                     its way to Sandler, and the two men met in Washington. Podesta, a gaunt marathon
                     runner in his fifties, had long worked the trenches of Washington’s public-policy wars.
                     Sandler, a lanky California businessman with big ideas, was a generation older. Both
                     men were trained as lawyers and knew how to negotiate. Podesta agreed to head up the
                     new entity, and Sandler became the organization’s largest donor. Another billionaire
                     supporter of leftist causes, George Soros, also kicked in financial support.

                     The new tax-exempt group opened its doors in downtown Washington in 2003 as the
                     Center for American Progress. Hillary played a "formative" role in the discussions
                     that preceded the center’s launch. She realized that the right had "created an
                     infrastructure that has come to dominate political discourse" and greeted the
                     center as a "welcome effort to fill that void" and create "some new intellectual
                     capital" for her side.

                     Once its roots were established, the center broadened its financial base by seeking
                     donations from a group of left-leaning donors that came together in 2005 under the
                     umbrella of an organization called the Democracy Alliance. Some alliance members
                     are close to Hillary; by 2007, the alliance was run by Kelly Craighead, a longtime
                     member of Hillaryland. The alliance has some firm rules: Members must donate at
                     least $250,000 per year to approved causes, and the groups seeking their
                     backing must submit proposals to the alliance for screening and agree to keep
                     secret the source of their donations.

                     The center, though ostensibly nonpartisan, attracted several veterans of the Clinton
                     administration, and conservatives soon regarded it as an important piece of the Clinton

                     But the foundation’s critics are correct that Podesta has strong links to Hillary. In 1993,
                     as staff secretary to President Clinton, Podesta had prepared a report on the
                     travel office affair that mentioned Hillary, but his investigation and final report
                     ignored or downplayed parts of Hillary’s role in the affair. Podesta also served on
                     the secret task force in 2006 that advised Hillary on energy issues.

                     Soon after the Center for American Progress opened, it began collaborating with
                     Hillary and her staff, prompting one former Hillary aide to describe the
                     relationship between Hillary and the center as "very close." A key adviser to
                     Hillary, Neera Tanden, has been a center employee in between jobs at Hillary’s                                       Page 3 of 4
Sweetness & Light » Hillary Involvement In Media Matters, CREW » Print                                              5/13/09 10:30 AM

                     Senate office and on her campaign committee. After Tanden was hired by
                     Hillary’s presidential campaign in early 2007, she was joined by Judd Legum,
                     the center’s research director.

                     Podesta and his center achieved the goal of their backers; the group’s studies and
                     officials are frequently cited by both the mainstream media and the increasingly active
                     blogosphere. Podesta is a regular guest on network talk shows. When asked on one of
                     them in late 2006, a few weeks before she had announced her intentions, whether he
                     was ready to support Hillary for president, he enthusiastically endorsed her.

            Mind you, this account is from the very leftwing duo of the New York Times reporters, Jeff Gerth and
            Don Van Natta.

            For a refresher course on the names and groups involved, check out their entries in Discover The
            Networks, including John Podesta, the Center for American Progress, CREW, and Media Matters.

            Of course it doesn’t take a flowchart to see that all of these people are in bed with Hillary, George
            Soros and the DNC.

            Despite each and every one of these groups being granted taxpayer support as non-profit, non-
            partisan 501c3 "charities."

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